In a gold sequin dress in a beautiful building – a simple set up in a grand yet cozy auditorium – a solo performance too and Froing from piano and guitar on stage – the audience hushed from the start, the grand setting ‘the Epstein theatre’
In between the soft brow beaten ballads Joan wasser makes small talk but there is a sadness layered so casually within the shy chippery.
This is by no means a criticism it’s just an observation it’s impossible to overlook when you have such on honest artist with such a heartbreaking sleeve to bare. When you think of Jeff Buckley you don’t think of the woman he left behind, but once known it’s hard to think of anything else as sadness spills from the lush vocals and almost makes you want to leave the room and go phone everyone you ever loved.
For someone so schooled and with several albums behind her she had the Essence of someone playing their first gig , all reflective and self deprecation, at times humbly mumbling stories like a barfly telling the same story for the 116th time before slipping into soul filled ethereal ballads .. the venue is outstanding for this type of concert and a credit to the city.
Any weathered JOP fans will not be disappointed in what was basically a one woman stripped down bearing of the soul, transporting you to a smokey half empty bar at 2am in Lower east side – quirky and finely tuned funny and not entirely uncomfortable – there’s a tribute to Elliot Smith another great love ended in such tragic circumstances. Its a wonderful thought to think of them all singing and laughing together through their romantic youth, lust for life, full of possibilities surrounded by dusk filled windows – there’s a sadness and a vulnerability that is real and beautiful –
it’s not for everyone – but just like Jeff and and Elliot , she flies a flag for the understated rock star – and keeping alive a genre as precious as of those she talks of so fondly